By Sheryl Allen Huff
NASHVILLE, TN — Rev. Keith Caldwell, a Nashville native, is a longtime grassroots community organizer who, through years of working at the intersection of Race and Poverty across the Southern Region, organically emerged through the ranks to become a civil rights leader who served as the president of the Nashville Branch–NAACP during the organization’s 100-year commemoration in 2018.
Caldwell was appointed to serve as Senior Pastor to Centenary UMC (United Methodist Church) in Memphis, Tennessee by Bishop William McAlilly of the Tennessee / Western Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is a legacy church that was the site of nonviolence workshops and mass meetings under the pastorate of Rev. James Lawson during the Civil Rights Movement.
As an undergraduate, Caldwell attended The American Baptist College and earned his Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School. He serves as Senior Pastor at the Historic Seay Hubbard UMC in South Nashville. It is a congregation that has been a community pillar since the time of American Reconstruction. Seay Hubbard began as Hubbard Chapel. The church shares a distinct history with Meharry Medical College and Hubbard Hospital. Hubbard Chapel started with an attendance requirement for all medical students. The school’s president Dr. George Hubbard insisted that students be spiritually grounded as they lived out the school’s motto, “Worship of God Through Service to Mankind.”
Rev Caldwell will continue to work on justice issues statewide through his work on the passage of Medicaid Expansion with the Tennessee Justice Center. He also works across the state through the Tennessee African-American Clergy Collaborative.